Okay, I have to say a word to those of you who fussed because I left you hanging last week. If you think about my story, I left Terry hanging, so why wouldn't I do the same to you? : ) Yes, I was cruel. No, I didn't mean to be cruel to him. Yes, I did mean to be cruel to you. I've changed in the last twenty-three years. : ) So enough with the hangings already. This is supposed to be a love story. If you want to go back and read parts one through four, the links are at the end of this post.
So I went off to work after telling Terry that I was confused and I wanted to break up with him. I worked four hours and dreaded heading back downstairs to meet Terry for supper. I knew he would have one of two reactions. Either he would try to bully and joke his way into getting us back together, or he would be angry. I was prepared for either response. I was so confused about everything, and I just wanted all the confusion to end. When I met Terry for supper, he seemed quiet, but pleasant. He suggested that we enjoy our meal and save our talk for afterward. I agreed although I have no idea how either of us managed to eat anything. After we finished we found an empty spot to sit and started talking. I was nervous. I'd already had my say and I just wondered which route Terry would take in our relationship.
Turns out he didn't joke or get angry. He told me that after I went to work he went back to his dorm and spent the entire afternoon praying and reading his Bible. He said he wanted to honor God with our relationship and he wanted to follow God's will for our lives. He read some Scripture to me that night, but I honestly don't remember which verses he used. All I knew was that this man sitting next to me was someone wonderful, and I knew right then that it was God's will for us to be dating. (Is your heart melting? Mine is, just remembering.)
I'd been calling my sister with updates through those first few days, and she was used to hearing me say things weren't going well and I didn't know how much longer I could hold up in this relationship. I called her the day after Terry and I talked and shocked her by telling her that I thought I was falling in love. Terry was still telling me he loved me all the time, and I was beginning to care for him more and more every day. But there was still a problem. I couldn't actually come out and tell him I loved him. I had determined I would never say those words except to the man I married. So saying them to Terry was tantamount to saying I was going to spend the rest of my life with him. Was I ready for that? How did I know if I was really in love? The importance of those words weighed on me so much that I literally backed myself into a corner. I couldn't say them. They were too huge. It was too big a decision. As much as I cared for Terry, I couldn't take that final step.
I should mention that, while I was sent to college to get my MRS degree, I was never really taught exactly how to get one of those. And the romance stuff I saw on television and read in books really didn't help because it wasn't real. I had just turned nineteen and I had no idea how to make the really big and important decisions in my life. Terry had no such doubts. He continued to tell me he loved me. He also told me that he would love to get engaged by Christmas and married the following summer. I told him I didn't see how that was possible. If we married the following summer, we would have known each other for just a little over a year. How on earth could you possibly decide to spend the rest of your life with someone you'd known for such a short time?
About a month later we spent a weekend at my parents' house. We had a great time, but underneath everything were the unspoken words I couldn't bring myself to say. Terry was more frustrated with me than he'd ever been, and I think he would have loved to have strangled the words out of me. After he left that night (he was staying with my sister and her husband) I had a long talk with my parents. My parents assured me that when I was truly ready, I would know and I shouldn't commit myself until then. Talking to them really didn't help though because I needed an answer now. So I went to bed crying and praying. "Lord," I whispered. "It's such a big step. I'm not sure I"m ready for it. No matter what I feel for Terry, I don't think I'll ever be able to take this step on my own. It's just too big and scary. If you want Terry and me to marry, Lord, you're going to have to make me say it. Because I can't do this on my own."
Tune in next Monday for the next installment. In the meantime, you can go here to read part one, part two, part three, or part four.
This series is a part of this carnival. Go here to read some other fantastic love stories!